Episode 3 — My Blue Ogre
“She thanked me. She lifted the beam with me. And sometimes I get to eat tasty cake like this. That’s enough for me. In the end, I’m the Red Ogre. So I can’t be like the Blue Ogre, but… I do want the people I care for to smile. I want them to be happy.” — Takeo
I’ve seen many comments online about Ore Monogatari!! to the effect of “This series could end after episode 3.” And, I have to admit, that this is very true, as the three episodes together form a complete arc. Takeo and Yamato, after three episodes of blushing and misunderstandings are finally an official couple. This stands in stark contrast to the usual romance story arc, which spends most of his time on build-up, rather than on the relationship itself. Though, Ore Monogatari!! has been anything but a traditional series thus far, so I don’t see anything wrong with it eschewing the traditional romance arc in favor of paving its own path.
The second episode of Ore Monogatari!! ended with Takeo agreeing to meet with Yamato alone, without Sunakawa tagging along. Takeo, as always, misinterprets this to mean that she’s only interested in Takeo for help in setting herself and Sunakawa up. This culminates in Yamato running off in tears after a barrage of (well-meaning, but still badly-timed) comments like “Yeah! Suna is really considerate!”, and “[Suna] wouldn’t cheat on a girl, either . . . You have my guarantee!”. This devastates and confuses Takeo, so he immediately runs to Sunakawa’s place to interrogate him, under the assumption that Suna had done something to upset Yamato.
Takeo’s confrontation with Sunakawa begins with Takeo “revealing” to Sunakawa that the obvious — to him — reason that she is upset is that she likes Suna. Sunakawa, to his credit, doesn’t dance around the issue, and immediately reveals what the situation actually is to Takeo, which results in some amusing shots of obvious confusion from him. Takeo then begins attempting to argue with Sunakawa’s assertion, bringing up events that he misinterpreted in the past episodes. Sunakawa deftly counters all of Takeo’s statements, framing the events in the light that was obvious to anyone else witness to them.
It isn’t until Yamato, who arrives at Sunakawa’s place during Takeo and Suna’s confrontation, that things are finally made clear to Takeo. Yamato is there to — like Takeo before her — ask for advice on how to deal with the situation at the park, primarily how to explain away her crying in front of him. Sunakaa suggests maybe she should just give up on Takeo she immediately refuses, saying “I don’t think I’ll meet anyone like Takeo-kun!” After hearing this Sunakawa goads her into saying that she likes Takeo aloud (many times, in fact) which finally convinces Takeo, who is hidden in the room as well, that Yamato does like him. Her reaction is to tell Sunakawa that it wasn’t fair to trick her into doing this but Sunakawa defends himself by saying that unless he heard her say it aloud Takeo would never believe that she felt that way about him, which is likely true. This is followed up by one of the sweetest moments in the series: Takeo and Yamato finally confess their feelings to one another, and they become a couple.
While this episode’s primary focus was on Takeo and Yamato’s relationship advancing to the next level it also did much to cement the friendship between Takeo and Sunakawa. It is only because Sunakawa acted as a mediator between the two that they were able to become a couple at all. It is also in this episode that we learn why Sunakawa has been hesitant to date the girls who have expressed interest in the past and — surprise surprise — it was all for Takeo’s benefit. While the girls that Takeo had been interested in romantically in the past had always been kind to him in public, Sunakawa revealed that most of them had, in fact, been mocking him behind his back. This is also why Sunakawa told Takeo that Yamato was “a nice girl” in the first episode, she was the first girl that Takeo expressed interest in that didn’t do so. In fact, when Takeo left Yamato and Suna alone in the first episode she spent the entire time gushing about how cool Takeo was, which is why Sunakawa helps to get them together in this episode.
The story of The Red Ogre That Cried is once again brought up in this episode, but the focus this time is on the character that fills the role of the Blue Ogre, Sunakawa. After he and Yamato become an official couple Takeo relates the story both to her and Suna — who has forgotten ever taking part in the play as a child, despite it having a huge impact on Takeo. When Sunakawa states that his only motive in helping Takeo and Yamato was that he wanted his friend to be happy — paralleling Takeo’s statement earlier in the episode quoted at the beginning of this review — revealing that never saw the “sacrifies” he made for the sake of Takeo as such at all. While Takeo stated that he himself “can’t be like the Blue Ogre” — likely because he considers himself stuck in the role of the Red Ogre — he later proclaims: “Suna, you really are like the Blue Ogre!” Takeo himself likely doesn’t seem to recognize that he was also willing to do anything for the sake of his friend’s happiness, which would mean rather than filling one role or another both Takeo and Sunakawa — at different times — take on different roles, their relationship isn’t static with set roles. This might, again, be rooted in his tendency to compare himself unfavorably to others, however.
While this episode did have its fair share of heartwarming and just plain adorable moments, it was also no slouch in the humor department. Takeo’s various reactions to Sunakawa telling him about Yamato’s feelings for him and Sunakawa’s almost indifferent reactions — he just sat and his desk and listened to music — while Takeo and Yamato were confessing to one another are some of the many small moments peppered throughout the episode that help keep the series light and fun. The standout moment from this episode, however, was Takeo hiding under Sunakawa’s bed when Suna’s mom announced that Yamato was at the door. The muted reactions from Suna and his mom during this scene were priceless, and the dramatic shots as Takeo lifted the bed to emerge — while Yamato was still sitting on it, I might add — was a great way to continue the gag.
While the traditional romance story is over now that Takeo and Yamato are an item I’m glad that the series will be spending most of its remaining episodes exploring their relationship from angles seldom seen. There was only so much of Takeo horribly misunderstanding the same situation before it would became stale. The series now has an opportunity to explore topics seldom explored in romance series’, and I hope that it makes the most of it. I also hope future episodes take the time to explore — and hopefully deal with — Takeo’s sense of inferiority, but only time will tell on that front. In any case, episode 3, and the entire arc formed by the first three episodes, was terrifically paced and written, and I can only hope that this trend continues.